Though I've lived in close proximity to Philadelphia most of my life, I've never really taken too many visits there. There's this dichotomy in Jersey where, if you're from the North you're an extension of "The City" (aka New York) and, if you're from the South, you're an extension of Philly. But I'm from central Jersey, a region about which their is some dispute as to actual existence. Still, if the NJSIAA says there is a central section, that's good enough for, um, something.
So this past weekend I made my second trek to Philly in as many months, this time in the company of some old college chums that I hadn't seen in what I would realize was too long. As my man Dave Matthews likes to say, "turns out not where but who you're with that really matters." Yes, I just called Dave my boy because aside from everything else, I used to put on "Crash" to go to bed for probably the better part of eighth and ninth grade (replacing Metallica's "And Justice for All" no less). But alas, I digress as usual.
After a dinner of cheesesteaks and forties and some leisurely boozing we would settle into an evening of salsa dancing, but not before awkwardly walking into an "uninvited" party somewhere on the Haverford College campus. Admittedly we were just looking for a place to hang out (and keep warm largely, it was a bit chilly) before the salsa kicked off at around midnight. Not much compares to walking into what you expect to be a crowded party to see about eight people wondering who in the hell you are. Me and Danny G. are getting too old for this shit. In retrospect and even in the moment, it really was funny over anything else. And once we entered the house of salsa, all order was restored. Now I am not a good dancer mind you, but I enjoy dancing, and I like to think that that carries over well. I mean, I got ladies to dance and groove, and whether it means you're laughing at my moves or you can absorb some of my enthusiasm, or both, let's just call it win-win.
Post dancing things took a mild turn for the destructive along with some failed attempts to borrow golf carts at Bryn Mawr, but nothing a little late night Mickey D's couldn't cure. They even still had the Shamrock Shake available, but alas all McDonald's ice cream machines "break" after 11pm. I don't know why they have to turn the machine off then, but I wish they wouldn't lie to me and say it's broken. Next time I will ask them, "Oh it should be fixed by 10am or so though, right?"
The real highlight of the trip, for me, was the morning after. I think I've discussed in here before the manic glory of sleep deprivation and lingering booze in the veins, but it really does work wonders. Now, as much as the AgBat and I were outsiders briefly at our uninvited apartment gathering, I couldn't help but feel like more of an outsider on the sunny morning streets of Ardmore. I was waiting for someone to say, "You boys aren't from around these parts, are ya?"
So for a truly bizarre interaction, I really can't top our IHOP experience. It was Sunday at 11am, so prime time, and I expected a crowd. I walked up to put my name down for a table for four. "Can I get a table for four please," I asked. "Name," asked the host. I gave him my name, which he followed up with, "You'll have to be sure to watch your language around here. As you can see there are little children behind you." No, wait, really? I literally said nothing besides my name. There was a pause and I said, "Do I look particularly susceptible to using foul language?" Sometimes I speak in such an archaic and scholarly fashion, especially when I'm thrown for a loop [in reality I said nothing]. I interrupted the ensuing silence after his bizarre comment by asking how long the wait would be. He told me twenty minutes. I opted to have us walk around outside while waiting.
There were some further classic moments once we returned and were seated but I'm running out of steam and you, dear reader, might be running out of interest. Remind me to remind myself to talk about taxes and losing my Sonic virginity because I've been meaning to do both of those things. Oh shit, it's almost Passover time...